Middle East

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad: Despot or Visionary?

|

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad presents something of a puzzle for Middle East watchers: On one hand, his security forces' pacification of the West Bank has enabled a renaissance of Palestinian economic growth and entrepreneurship, while a greater role for PA security forces has allowed for a somewhat decreased Israeli military presence. But a profile in last week's New York Review of Books suggested that the unelected and perhaps unpopular Fayyad is primarily motivated by the constant fear that Hamas could remove the PA and Fatah from power, a possibility that he's protecting against at all costs. According to the article, "all costs" allegedly includes the torture of political opponents and the cancelation of national elections.

Fayyad spoke at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C., yesterday about his much-ballyhooed institution and capacity-building program for the West Bank. It is predicated on the idea that economic growth and government competence are a surer path to Palestinian freedom than armed resistance. But he's proven willing to defend his own long-term vision of freedom through allegedly oppressive means, a tension that should have made for an explosive discussion at NAF.

Instead, Fayyad dazzled an audience of activists and foreign policy wonks, and stuck to largely uncontroversial statements on the need for security and reform in the West Bank. "This program was intended to provide the underpinning of the Palestinian effort to get ready for statehood," he said of the government's "Homestretch to Freedom" package of institutional and infrastructural reforms. "The State of Palestine wasn't going to be founded against the backdrop of a vacuum, but against well-functioning institutions of government." And, apparently, against the backdrop of a Palestinian populace finally convinced that it's capable of solving its problems non-violently. "A sense of self-empowerment started to emerge among our people" he said of the last year of reform efforts. "Those decades [of occupation] have brought them a sense of defeatism, which would manifest itself in one of two ways: either as submissiveness, a sense that there is not really a lot we can do about anything. And the other side of that was belligerence." For Fayyad, the compromise position between total inertia and Hamas-like violent rage is participation in the West Bank's growing economy: in the question and answer segment, he lamented the territory's 14 percent female participation rate in the labor force.

But the more serious issues in the NYRB piece went unaddressed. When he was asked about possible reconciliation with Hamas, he spoke broadly about the (largely theoretical) possibility of bringing the Islamist party into the government, based on mutual concerns like security and infrastructure. But he also said the Palestinian Authority wouldn't accept the existence of armed militias outside of its control.

After finishing his formal answer to the question, Fayyad did something unexpected that turned out to be the most revealing off-script moment of the afternoon. Fayyad greeted the questioner in Arabic; apparently they had worked together in Gaza when Fayyad was an official with the International Monetary Fund. In that moment, Fayyad was unmasked as a market-oriented bureaucrat for whom the vagaries of the Palestinian political process are an annoyance at best and an obstacle at worst. 

Fayyad's framing of the Palestinian political impasse and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a matter of maintaining growth and fulfilling the most basic needs of a beleaguered citizenry is either admiringly optimistic or hopelessly naive. With peace talks in progress again and a year left on Fayyad's so-called state-building program, we may soon find out which.

NEXT: FBI Raiding Antiwar Activists in Terror Investigation

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. The PA only has power in the West bank. Hamas controls Gaza, which is about 1.5 million palestinians or half of the entire Palestinian population.

    Abu Mazen and Salam Fayyad could sign a peace deal with Israel, recognize the Israeli state and then gain full statehood for the Palestinians and it won’t bre worth the paper its printed on. Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran need there to be a “struggle” against the “evil jews” so they can maintain power. They will never allow peace with Israel.

    1. I predict MNG will fill this thread full of tears and nonsense.

      1. You didn’t even have to sneak a peek downthread, did you? As predictable as death and spittle-flecked, red-faced excretions from Max.

        1. Didn’t notice that John T. made his/her prediction after I’d already exchanged several posts, eh? Talk about working the ref!

  2. I think we should worry about our own freedom.

  3. Who gives a fuck if he’s unelected, unpopular, and canceling elections? We know how illiberally Hamas rules Gaza; keeping them from controlling the West Bank is a gain for liberty worth the sacrifice of democracy.

    1. Good point. We can babble all we want about how Hamas won what election. I imagine that it’s easier to win most elections when you’re menacing potential voters with torture, automatic weapons and other means of coercion. Maybe democracy just isn’t on the table at the moment.

      I’ve said it before: the Palestinians need to spend more time living their own lives, going to work, being productive and less time worrying about what the Israelis are up to. Sounds like Mr. Fayyad agrees.

      1. “I imagine that it’s easier to win most elections when you’re menacing potential voters with torture, automatic weapons and other means of coercion.”

        Like in Philly.

      2. “the Palestinians need to spend more time living their own lives, going to work, being productive and less time worrying about what the Israelis are up to”

        When what they are up to involves putting roads, walls and settlements plop in the middle of the land you till it makes that a wee bit hard…

        1. Oh, I see. So the Israelis built a wall, said, “you guys stay over there,” and the Palestinians are still confused? Are the Israelis building on the Palestinian side of the wall?

          1. Well, yes, they are. But if you ask the question, are the West Bank Palestinians moving in a direction of more or less Israeli control of their land and lives, the answer is “less.” Fayyad’s approach has gotten them more than anyone else- but it will take time to undo the horrific damage done to the Palestinian Arabs by the odious toad Arafat.

            Every once in a while, there’s good news. Not enough of it, to be sure, but the direction is promising.

        2. I remember back in c. 2002 when people were scratching their heads as to why the Israeli’s sent a company sized force to trash the hardrives, backup tapes, and paper records of the local banks – which did as much to wipe out the nascent middle class and peaceful economy as a hundred bombs.

          In the end, they why was pretty obvious, kassam rockets don’t launch themselves. people with jobs and a hope for the future won’t strap bombs on themselves to go kill Israeli’s.

          And without a steady supply of enemy footsoldiers, the external threat that Likkud counts on to justify up its flavor of religious/ethnic national socialism would just not be there.

          1. Oh you’ve got all the answers don’t you Mr. Rockwell?

          2. In the end, they why was pretty obvious, kassam rockets don’t launch themselves. people with jobs and a hope for the future won’t strap bombs on themselves to go kill Israeli’s.

            The 2007 Glasgow Airport bomber had an impressive college degree and bright career prospects. So did the 2010 Times Square bomber. The 2009 Fort Hood shooter had a cushy desk job in the USA military.

            On the other end of the spectrum. Haiti is full of poverty but is not a hotbed of terrorism.

            Economic freedom, growth, and opportunity are good goals, but poverty is no excuse for terrorism.

  4. How about we let the Israelis and the Palestinians and Hamas and the PA and whoever else wants to get in on that clusterfuck fight it out, and we stay the fuck out of it?

    1. Sounds good to me. Let Europe protect its oil sources.

      1. No, let’s continue to subsidize Europe!

        You, know, if you think about it, the Europeans are pretty smart. They let us walk around, feeling so cool that we’re the tough guys on the block, all the while we’re the ones paying for everything for the privilege of feeling like the tough guys. And the foreign policy hawks in this country eat that shit up with a spoon, while the Europeans must be laughing their asses off.

        I mean, we do the dirty work and we pay for it too. That’s just unbelievably stupid.

        1. On the other hand, since Pax Americana got started, no major European wars. Which tended to drag us during the last century. Maybe it’s cheaper just to be their warlike slaves.

          1. European wars didn’t drag us in:

            The political classes in the U.S. would drag us into those wars.

            The solution is, of course, is to ingore/mock the political classes, and let the Europeans fight to the last Australian.

            1. “let the Europeans fight to the last Australian.”

              That’s pretty funny…

    2. Fuck yeah!

  5. But he also said the Palestinian Authority wouldn’t accept the existence of armed militias outside of its control.

    Wait.

    So the PA controls Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade? I thought it just paid them protection money?a couple thousand Euro “aid” dollars per Martyr, last time it made the news.
    Good to know, I guess.

  6. I JUST CAME ACROSS THIS INTERVIEW WITH A HIZBOLLAH MP IN REASON:

    “MEET HIZBOLLAH”
    https://reason.com/archives/200…..singlepage

  7. unmasked as a market-oriented bureaucrat

    A strange phrase to me. It reads like something out of an agit-prop hit piece.

    Also, if there really is such a thing as a market-oriented bureaucrat, could someone tell me where we could find some to replace the bureaucrats we have now?

    1. Maybe we could acquire Fayyed from the PLA in exchange for a high ranking socialist bureaucrat (it’s not like we have a shortage) and 5 draft picks from Harvard?

    2. Is a market-oriented bureaucrat similar to a virginity-oriented whore?

  8. Visionary Despot!

    1. Disionary Fespot.

  9. After finishing his formal answer to the question, Fayyad did something unexpected that turned out to be the most revealing off-script moment of the afternoon. Fayyad greeted the questioner in Arabic; apparently they had worked together in Gaza when Fayyad was an official with the International Monetary Fund. In that moment, Fayyad was unmasked as a market-oriented bureaucrat for whom the vagaries of the Palestinian political process are an annoyance at best and an obstacle at worse.

    How, pray, does greeting another person in a common language “unmask” someone as “a market-oriented bureaucrat for whom the vagaries of the Palestinian political process are an annoyance at best and an obstacle at worse”[sic]?

    non-sequitur

  10. “a somewhat decreased Israeli military presence”

    I love it when the right wingers around here yell “Israel gave these savages their autonomy and they still are upset” as if they wouldn’t mind an “autonomy” in which the occupier has a “somewhat decreased military presence.”

    Look, you either believe in consent of the governed as a fundamental policy or you don’t. While the Palestinians certainly do their darndest to make it hard to sympathize with them people ought not to be ruled without their consent (or at the least basic citizenship rights), even people whose ancestors lost a war with another people…

    1. Mostly, I agree with you.

      However, I have spoken to both Israeli and Palestinian supporters on the issue. Once we get past the “everyone wants to live in peace” platitudes, the conversation usually degenerates into a “who struck John” recitation of past wrongs committed by the other side.

      (A lot of Zionists will point to the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem calling for the annihilation of the Jews, none of them seem to remember the massacres perpetrated by the Irgun.)

      1. Oh I agree here. I have no idea how a conflict like this can now be remedied. Just about everybody over there has a living memory of some horror done by the other side to someone they know or at the least their people.

        It’s one reason why it amazes me that peace was made in Ireland. How are you supposed to forgive and forget when you can remember stuff like that?

        1. I’ll tell you how. You can be sane and civilized like my cousins in Belfast. They saw the horrors. They were oppressed for hundreds of years, denied the right to vote, go to school, go to church, etc. Yet, they put themselves in jeopardy by refusing to cooperate with the IRA because murder and terrorism is wrong. Nobody had to invent some cutesy terminology or excuses for them about why they should accept a Nathan Bedford Forrest figure. They just know right from wrong. It’s too bad that the Palestinians don’t teach that to their children.

          1. And I guess your cousins happily accepted their denial of rights and the rest of the world should have dismissed their oppression because of the existence of the IRA in the same way you dismiss the oppression of all the Palestinians in Gaza because of the existence of Hamas (Hamas got the most votes but still less than half of Gazans voted Hamas btw)…

            1. It’s apples and oranges. The situation of the Palestinians is almost entirely self-wrought. Even though that is not true of the Irish, resorting to terrorism is still immoral. I know that’s hard for you to understand, as you appear to be sympathetic to the White Supremacist and Black Supremacist groups that used historical grievances as a pretext for more violence.

              1. “The situation of the Palestinians is almost entirely self-wrought.”

                Yeah, because they practically invited the Israelis to set up a nation where they lived!

                1. MNG, surely you have simply forgotten that Israel agreed to the UN’s Partition Plan in 1947, which would have created both a Jewish state and an Arab state. Unfortunately, the Arab leaders rejected this plan and ordered a strike, which caused a small civil war. Around 250,000 Palestinian-Arabs fled or were expelled because of the consequences of that decision.

                  In May 14, 1948, Israel declared independence. The following day, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq declared war on Israel. One of the first things the Israeli government did was to declare that any Palestinian who stayed would be granted citizenship, but those who left would not be allowed to return. 700,000 Palestinians fled, spurred on by the propaganda of Arab leaders who said that Israel was lying and would exterminate them if they stayed.

                  So the idea that Israel just came in, set up shop, and pushed the Arabs out is completely false. The Arabs had multiple chances to have their own state or become a part of Israel, but they chose not to.

                  1. “700,000 Palestinians fled, spurred on by the propaganda of Arab leaders who said that Israel was lying and would exterminate them if they stayed.”

                    Heller, you do know that Israeli terrorism and propoganda played a huge part in that flight, right? The myth you peddle was discredited by the Israeli “New Historians” quite a while back…

                2. Uh, yeah, they did. Continually terrorizing your more civilized jewish neighbor will not get you well accepted.

                  1. Uh, yeah, they did. Continually terrorizing your more civilized jewish neighbor will not get you well accepted.

                    Glad to see MNG is not the only one making dumb statements around here…

                3. Yeah, because they practically invited the Israelis to set up a nation where they lived!

                  Ooouuu, those crafty Jews, immigrating to a country.

      2. Given that Hamas, the present day government of Gaza, advocates annihilating the Jews, I’m amazed that the person you’re referencing would go to the effort of pulling out the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. Either you’re making this up, or this was 7 hours into a conversation where someone tried to get through your thick skull why the Israelis can’t make peace unilaterally.

        1. “why the Israelis can’t make peace unilaterally.”

          Maybe if they tried some tactic different from recurrently ignoring the basic property rights and liberties of the people they occupy it might help their “unilateral peace making” process…

          1. Maybe you don’t understand the concept of warfare. The Palestinians have repeatedly declared war on Israel. Have the Israelis demolished houses, relocated people and attempted to push the Palestinians to a safe distance? Yes. Of course. That is the only sane course of action.

            1. “The Palestinians have repeatedly declared war on Israel.”

              “The Palestinians?” Not even a majority voted for Hamas in the elections years ago. Nice tribal, collective attitude though. Your neighbor attacks Canada, so you’re OK with Canada bulldozing your house or building a wall through your back yard…

              1. If I had one neighbor who attacked Canada, he would probably be subdued by the American authorities and extradicted. Would you like to try a different analogy, or concede the point?

                1. The analogy still stands, as what you describe is what should happen (a nation dealing internally with its own citizens, not a foriegn occupier dealing with them). If you would like to tweak it we can do this: a relative of yours attacks Canada so Canada bulldozes your house. Just result?

                  1. MNG, it’s possible to sue the estate of a person who dies while committing a crime that causes damage to others. Do those lawsuits offend you?

                    1. jtuf
                      If you are equating suing a dead person’s estate with demolishing a person’s home because of what a relative did, then you are really grasping at straws here…

                    2. MNG, if the dead person’s home is part of his estate, then it can be taken in response to the dead person’s crimes. MNG, why do you keep evading questions? I would like to have a rational debate with you over this, but your rhetoric makes is difficult.

    2. But they aren’t ruled without their consent. Arabs are represented in the Knesset and have been since 1949.
      List of Arab members of the Knesset

      The ones who are really screwed are the Arabs in Gaza who are basically used as cannon fodder for Hamas. Arab Israeli’s have way more democratic representation than Palestinians in Gaza.

      1. Arabs in the occupied territories are not represented in the Knesset.

        And you’re continuing to make the same error: that there was some grant of real autonomy involved here. The Israelis tired of actually fully administering the occupied territories as a day-to-day thing so they simply reserved the right to control the trade, borders, customs, airspace, etc., of the territories, along with a right to just come in and “arrest” people whenever they want (often not charging them). To borrow an example I think fluffy gave it would be like if S. Africa had just put walls around the black territories, controlled what and who came in and out and periodically bombed/raided whenever the felt like it. If under those conditions black thugs ran the walled in cities S. Africa would still be somewhat responsible (don’t get me wrong, the thugs actions would be [and are in the case of Hamas] indefensible).

        1. Arabs in the occupied territories are not represented in the Knesset.

          True, they do have representation but it’s pretty horrible. Many of what used to be called “occupied” territories are now Israeli towns and the some of the Palestinians who live there became Israeli citizens. Some even serve in the IDF, believe it or not.

          that there was some grant of real autonomy involved here.

          The West Bank elected Abu Mazen and they get Fatah and the PA, while the Gaza strip decided they didn’t technically need elections since Hamas has all the guns. Either way, autonomy or not, this is the current regional reality. Whether Palestinians get “statehood” or not, or if they get everything back to the 1967 borders, the Hamas/Syria/Hezbollah/Iran delegation isn’t interested in a two state solution. And they have made it abundantly clear that Israel’s autonomy is not recognized.

          1. “Arabs in the occupied territories are not represented in the Knesset.

            True, they do have representation but it’s pretty horrible.”

            ?

            Dude, I’m pretty sure the residents of the West Bank and Gaza are not represented in the Knesset, they are not citizens of Israel, though they are ruled by Israel’s military.

            1. They are ruled by Israel’s military? Not exactly. The West Bank is under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade because they can’t stop firing rockets at the Israelis. The war will end when the Palestinians give up and go about their lives like normal human beings.

              1. Thats gaza you fucking retard

                1. Dude, Tedb is spot on. Pmain, you don’t know what the hell you are talking about.

                  1. Well, yes. It is Gaza. But you knew what I meant.

                    1. The really live question is did you know what you meant?

                    2. Let’s see. We’re talking about a West Bank politician, and contrasting him with the crazies who run Gaza. Hmmm … yes, a reasonable person would realize that I meant that Gaza is the territory under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade.

        2. If they say they are members of their own country, then they can have elections and govern themselves.

          Again, this will only happen once the more homicidal members of Palestinian society are subdued to such a point as peace becomes possible.

    3. I love it when the right wingers around here yell “Israel gave these savages their autonomy and they still are upset” as if they wouldn’t mind an “autonomy” in which the occupier has a “somewhat decreased military presence.”

      When the Palestinians stop attacking Israel, then the babysitters can leave.

      1. They probably will stop 99.9% of the attacks if their human rights are respected, if they were to have say the same rights as the Israelis.

        1. Kwais, you mean the right to take recreational drugs, for example? Do you believe the street shootings by drug gangs are justified?

    4. MNG, you’re the only one using the word “savages”. It’s one thing to have imaginary debate partners. It’s another thing to be debating them out loud in public.

  11. I’m pretty sure the residents of the West Bank and Gaza are not represented in the Knesset,

    I meant their own government. That they elected. Their Thugocracy, if you will.

    1. I’ll agree Hamas is a bunch of thugs. I think the attraction to the voters of Gaza was similar to the attraction Malcom X had to blacks in the 60’s or that someone like Bedford Forrest had in the South. Occupied people tend to like people who stand up to the occupier, and they ignore what should be some pretty obvious pathologies among such folks.

      But do you now acknowledge that the residents of the Occupied Territories have no Israeli citizenship rights? Yet Israel controls their borders, customs, airspace, and the right to enter and arrest it’s citizens at will. What kind of “autonomy” is that? At best the Occupied Territories have the kind of autonomy a state in the United States has, but there is a crucial difference: residents of states can vote in federal elections and have citizenship rights.

      1. Palestine is autonomous. It’s also in a de facto state of war with Israel. They will stop be treated as hostile once they stop being hostile.

        1. Autonomous=having your borders, customs, airspace, etc., controlled by another nation? Having that other nation frequently enter and arrest your citizens in the hundreds, detaining many without trial for long periods? Having that other nation build walls, roads, and settlements in your backyards?

          That’s an interesting definition of autonomy you’ve got there!

        2. Correct. Not long after Israel gave them Gaza, the Gaza Palestinians declared war on Israel. Now they have a legal blockade, because of their declaration of war. Same thing happened to Germany and Japan. Any tears for that?

          Gazans get their roads, schools and hospitals blown up because that is where they chose to fight from. Hiding behind children and the sick, how brave!

          1. John, before the declaration you mention Israel still retained the right to control Gaza’s borders, airspace, etc., and to enter at will to deal with security threats. You would not accept that level of “autonomy,” why should the Palestinians?

            1. Because their full autonomy will only be realized once they have a functioning government that can accept being at peace with its neighbors. This is what the Israelis want. I’m glad Mr. Fayyad wants that, too.

              1. The West Bank has had such a government, yet it still has had such limited autonomy.

                1. MNG, the PA is getting better, but it is still not a functioning government. I’m open to discussing the criteria for handing over authority. I’ll let you start if you want. What traits characterize a functioning government?

            2. One thing is guaranteed on these threads, MNG will rush in with every level of stupidity. How weird go you have to be to fantasize about me being a man just because you had a fit last year when I started getting real Libertarianism? That is just weird no matter what the reason. Funny too!

      2. I’ll agree Hamas is a bunch of thugs.

        Whether they are thugs or not, that’s the current “elected” representation for the Palestinians in Gaza.

        But do you now acknowledge that the residents of the Occupied Territories have no Israeli citizenship rights?

        That depends on which “occupied” resident you are referring to. For instance the case of Haneen Zoabi. She’s a Palestinian born in Nazareth, who was/is a member of the Knesset. She has full Israeli citizenship, yet She was on board the MV Mavi Marmara during the Gaza Flotilla Raid, and she rejects the idea of Israel as a Jewish state. It’s like if Malcolm X was a Senator from New Jersey. Are you really oppressed if you’re a Senator?

        Yet Israel controls their borders, customs, airspace, and the right to enter and arrest it’s citizens at will.

        Israel alone doesn’t control these borders. Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon treat the border the same way that the Israeli’s do.

        At best the Occupied Territories have the kind of autonomy a state in the United States has, but there is a crucial difference: residents of states can vote in federal elections and have citizenship rights.

        You’re ignoring the main problem with your analogy, in that half (I hope) of the Palestinians would probably be fine with recognizing the 1967 borders and working out a two state solution. But the other half (and again, “half” is a generous estimate) is not interested in any option other than the complete annihilation of the Jews and the state of Israel.

        If you’re appealing to logic with this argument then you would agree with the idea of a two state/1967 borders peace deal that maybe has Israel leave some of the settlements and Hamas is cool living alongside a Jewish state.

        Not gonna happen.

        The problem is that we Americans try and look at this from a logical standpoint, but the reality is that this land has been fought over for more than 2000 years. Israel has won and lost Jerusalem several times, and the Arabs have lost several attempts to kill off the Jews. You can’t fit the answer in to a logical equation like your US comparison. It doesn’t work.

        1. They were elected in the last election, but they’ve since via force just taken over. Of course my point still stands that overall Israel still militarily rules that nation: they control who comes and goes, come in whenever they want and take people out, kill a few hundred people every now and then…(BTW-I like your Likudian “Egypt controls the borders too!!!” line. Of course your Likudian source must not have reminded you that Egypt does so because of a treaty with Israel; the few times they have violated that agreement for humanitarian reasons Israel through hysterical fits).

          You keep bringing up the same point, that some Arabs are citizens of Israel, can vote, be elected to the Knessett, etc. Yes, yes, yes. But you continue to miss my point it seems: the residents of the West Bank and Gaza are not given these citizenship rights yet they must follow the rules of the Israeli government.

          1. In fact recently an official in Netty’s government floated the idea of offering citizenship to the residents of the West Bank. Polls showed a majority of the residents would accept, but Israel likely would not do this (they are constitutionally a Jewish state and would not want to absorb so many non-Jewish citizens, besides there would be many other problems [think W. Germany when the wall fell]).

            1. MNG, I would support citizenship for all residents of Judea and Sumeria if they agree to peace with Israel. I also support giving citizenship to each individual in Judea and Sumeria who agrees to not be at war with Israel. I’m not sure how many of those residents would accept the offer. Israel has been offering citizenship to the former Jordanians in Jerusalem for decades, but few accept the offer. A local Jerusalem politician spoke to my group about it around 1990. She said it was a huge challenge for her, because one of her party’s major platform planks is improved services in the neighborhoods where former Jordanians live, and so many of the former Jordanians refused to accept Israeli citizenship. Her party keep canvasing to get support among the former Jordanians, but they did not have much success.

              1. I think all of them should be offered citizenship or allowed to form a truly independent state. People have the right to be represented in the governments that rule them (that goes for all the crappy Arab states that deny ALL of their citizens this too). Those who continued to make war against Israel should be prosecuted vigorously (I actually support about 8/10 of the retaliation strikes the IDF has engaged in over the past few decades, one cannot just let folks fire rockets at you and try to bomb school buses).

                1. I think all of them should be offered citizenship or allowed to form a truly independent state. People have the right to be represented in the governments that rule them (that goes for all the crappy Arab states that deny ALL of their citizens this too). Those who continued to make war against Israel should be prosecuted vigorously (I actually support about 8/10 of the retaliation strikes the IDF has engaged in over the past few decades, one cannot just let folks fire rockets at you and try to bomb school buses).

                  I think that plan is OK in theory. I worry about the total casualty count and the collateral casualties. Let me think about it. Your plan has potential.

          2. Of course my point still stands that overall Israel still militarily rules that nation: they control who comes and goes, come in whenever they want and take people out, kill a few hundred people every now and then

            Israel does not “run” Gaza or the West Bank in any way shape or form. And they don’t “randomly kill a few hundred every now and then” (hyperbole much?) As I said above Fatah and the PA run the West Bank and Hamas runs Gaza. Israel does control the borders, and what goes in and out of Gaza but that’s because if they didn’t Iran and others would be sending in rockets by the tanker full every day. That’s what so fucked up about the Flotilla incident. Israel lets any food and non-military shipments arrive in Gaza, and they offered to let the Flotilla dock before reaching Gaza so they could be cleared of military grade shipments. But the point of the Flotilla was to get Israel to do what it did so that Hamas could stage another glorious media moment. It’s absolutely sickening the way the people of Gaza are used as live ammunition by the leaders of Hamas and their supporters in the Arab world.

            Of course your Likudian source must not have reminded you that Egypt does so because of a treaty with Israel

            Do you remember why there is a treaty? It’s because Egypt got its ass handed to them by Israel in 1967, and Israel occupied everything in the Sinai up to the Suez canal. Israel gave up all of the Sinai and retreated back to the current borders, and all of the non-Egyptians left on the non-Israeli/Gaza side got screwed. And they are still treated like dirt by the Egyptians –‘The invisible Palestinians of Egypt Refugees face discrimination, poverty and no access to basic services”.

            you continue to miss my point it seems: the residents of the West Bank and Gaza are not given these citizenship rights yet they must follow the rules of the Israeli government.

            Again, it’s not that simple. You are ignoring the fact that Hamas and the PA both hold elections and are ostensibly supposed to be running their respective communities, although Hamas is clearly not anywhere near as up to the job as Fatah. Hamas just wants to kill Jews, they don’t want to run a government. Israel may control what goes in and out of Gaza but that’s because when they don’t Hamas gets more rockets to shoot at Israel.

            1. “Israel lets any food and non-military shipments arrive in Gaza,”

              This is demonstrably false, as any quick google of independent human rights organizations reports on this can easily attest to.

              “Do you remember why there is a treaty?” You leave out quite a bit here (the 1973 war, the Carter peace treaty, etc.) but at least you acknowledge the main point: Egypt’s similar treatment of the border is at the request of Israel via treaty with them (and induced with US dollars btw).
              Besides, even if Egypt embargoed Gaza like Israel two wrongs would not make a right.

              And I’m not ignoring the fact that there are “semi-autonomous” governmental entities set up in the Occupied Territories, I just remind you that such conditions of limited autonomy would not be approved of by you or any other American on this thread.

              1. Via Israel National News:

                During the same 12-month period, some 4,883 tons of medical equipment and medicine were delivered to the region, as well as medical supplies for the disabled such as wheelchairs, crutches and first aid kits. Also shipped to the region’s hospitals and clinics last year were heart monitors, baby feeding tubes, dental equipment, medical books, ambulance emergency equipment, artificial limbs and infant sleeping bags.

                In the first quarter of 2010, 152 trucks of medical supplies and equipment made their way into Gaza. In an average week this month, some 37 truckloads of hygiene products were shipped to the region through the crossings. A new CT scan machine was recently delivered to Gaza as well.

                Israel maintains a regular corridor for the transfer of medical patients out of Gaza, and about 200 medical staff members pass through the Erez Crossing terminal every month. “Israel also helps coordinate the transfer of Jordanian doctors into Gaza,” noted the Foreign Ministry spokesman.

                Moreover, the Hadassah medical organization in Jerusalem donates $3 million in aid each year to treat Palestinian Authority Arabs in Israel. Following the outbreak of the H1N1 swine flu, three Israeli hospitals were assigned to treat cases in Gaza, the Foreign Ministry said, and 44,500 immunization doses were delivered to the region.

                Israel’s Aid to Gaza

                1. jtuf
                  You would acknowledge that they also prevent a great deal of shipments from going in and out too, right? Do I really need to cite to that?

                  They stop all voluntary exchanges at the border, but hey, they let some in! Is that your argument?

                  1. Gaza is at a state of war with Israel. Blockades are standard during wars.

          3. Man, MNG, you are obsessed with Likud. I believe that you are only talk about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, because it allows you yet another venue for fighting the blue team – red team conflict.

            1. I mentioned Likud in one post on this thread. It strikes me that you focusing on that single post indicates an obsession on your part, like “anti-anti-communists” or something.

          4. But you continue to miss my point it seems: the residents of the West Bank and Gaza are not given these citizenship rights yet they must follow the rules of the Israeli government.

            Like how Puerto Ricans still have to follow federal drug laws even though they do not get to vote for federal offices.

            1. I’m all for statehood for them, and DC as well. I actually think it is egregious.

              You would acknowledge though that the residents there have citizenship rights which the resident of the Occupied Territories are denied, right?

              1. I will acknowledge that residents in DC and Puerto Rico enjoy more rights than the residents of Judea and Sumeria. My point still stands. The people of a region must choose to peacefully join a federation before they get representation on the federal level.

                Maybe the PA and Israel could form a European Union like arrangement. That might be the best solution; I don’t know. There are intermediate options between complete separation and a complete union.

      3. Also Israel retains the right to build settlements inside of the occupied territories, to shut down roads to Palestinians that Jews travel on.
        I am not sure, but I am guessing that even Israeli citizens who are Moslem are probably not allowed to travel on those jewish only roads.

        1. Kwais, currently, Muslim and Christian Israelis are allowed to visit large sections of Judea and Sumeria, but Jews are forbidden from going there. You really should do a bit of fact checking before you post.

          1. http://www.btselem.org/downloa…..ds_eng.pdf

            “You really should do a bit of fact checking before you post.”

            Physician heal thyself!

            1. Sorry for the delay in responding. Between the holidays and the UN protests, I’ve been very busy. I even had to outsource the blogging on my personal website.

              Anyway, most of my information comes from:

              The Jerusalem Post
              http://www.jpost.com

              and

              The Israel National News
              http://www.israelnationalnews.com

              I just wanted you to show your cards first so that I would have an opportunity to evaluate your information source. I’ll do that in the next post.

            2. You linked to B’Tselem, so I assume that their views reflect yours. B’Tselem advertises itself as a nonprofit that is dedicated to documenting human rights abuses in Gaza, Judea, and Sumeria. B’Tselem makes no mention of Hamas’s ban on women smoking in public and the many other restrictions that Hamas makes on women, so it appears that you support these bans. B’Tselem does not object to the PA imposing the death penalty on Muslims and Christians who sell land to Jews (http://www.israelnationalnews.com) so you must also support the death penalty for private land sales. The silence on Hamas’s recent campaign to execute anyone accused of working with Israel (http://www.israelnationalnews.com) indicates that you approve of these executions.

            3. You also care nothing about the Gazans who had their homes destroyed by Hamas last spring (http://www.israelnationalnews.com) or Hamas’s attempts to block humanitarian aid to Israel (http://www.israelnationalnews.com). Face it MNG, you’re not pro-Gazan or pro-West Banker. You are just anti-Israel, because you think Israel is an easy country to kick around.

      4. MNG, it is unreasonable to expect Israel to merge with a people that is still officially at war with it.

        1. So they can rule them, but they cannot grant them citizenship? Interesting concept jtuf, what democratic theory do you base this interesting idea on? I remember my ancestors fighting a revolution over this little idea that it was wrong to govern someone without their representation in that process. How about yours?

          1. MNG, in America, you need to sign an agreement to be one of the United States, before you can vote for representatives in the federal government of the United States of America. That is why residents of Puerto Rico cannot vote in the presidential elections or send voting representatives to Congress. The people of Puerto Rico never signed on to join the United States of America. They’ve had that quasi-citizen status for a century, twice as long as the PA citizens have had their current status. Yet you have no problem with the situation in Puerto Rico. In fact, it’s so far from your mind that you weren’t even aware of it. Why do you care so little for Puerto Ricans?

            1. I’ve always been for Puerto Rican statehood or independence. Why would you assume otherwise?

              Of course, they are also citizens, no?

              1. Why would you assume otherwise?

                Because earlier you said:
                So they can rule them, but they cannot grant them citizenship? Interesting concept jtuf, what democratic theory do you base this interesting idea on? I remember my ancestors fighting a revolution over this little idea that it was wrong to govern someone without their representation in that process. How about yours?

                You made a big speech about America being a democracy and how democracies give representation to all its people. That speech showed me that the situation in Puerto Rico isn’t on you conscious at all until someone calls you on it.

        2. ” a people that is still officially at war with it.”

          Wow, and below you accuse the Palestinians of having a “collectivist mindset.” Lump much?

          Hamas did not get a majority of voter support. In the West Bank a majority of residents said they would accept Israeli citizenship if offered. But “the Palestinians” have declared war, so occupation without representation and citizenship rights without end of all of them is the only acceptable answer…

          1. MNG, the PLO declared war against Israel a few years before 1967. They never signed a peace agreement after that, despite Israel’s constant efforts to reach a peace agreement. Declarations of war by the legislative body of a people represent the actions of the people. It’s like saying that America is fighting in Iraq.

            1. At Oslo the PLO recognized Israel’s right to exist and renounced violence against Israel.
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I…..ster_Rabin

              And the “Palestinian people” have a legislative body? I thought nations had those, and the Palestinians have no nation.

              1. MNG, if the PLO isn’t the representative legislative body of the ex-Jordanians and Gazans, why was Arafat invited to the White House by Bill Clinton?

  12. Have they thought about building a Peace Mosque there? I bet that would help.

  13. I thought it was a picture of NBA Commissioner David Stern.

  14. Where would you rather live, Gaza or the West Bank?

    1. Considering you live in John T’s mind that’s a strange question…

        1. “Suki” is one of John T’s less interesting personalities.

    2. Good point, Suki. Life is much better in the land that Israel still holds some control over compared to the land that Israel completely withdrew from.

      1. Yeah, and the embargo, regular military incursions, and the slaughtering of thousands of Gazans indicates how they “completely withdrew…”

        But nice of you to acknowledge Israel exercises “some control” over the West Bank. Now, should governments exercise “some control” over people without granting those people citizenship rights and/or representation?

        1. MNG, we already covered this question earlier. Please read the exchange over Puerto Rico.

          1. MNG|9.26.10 @ 8:08PM|#
            I think all of them should be offered citizenship or allowed to form a truly independent state. People have the right to be represented in the governments that rule them (that goes for all the crappy Arab states that deny ALL of their citizens this too). Those who continued to make war against Israel should be prosecuted vigorously (I actually support about 8/10 of the retaliation strikes the IDF has engaged in over the past few decades, one cannot just let folks fire rockets at you and try to bomb school buses).

            MNG|9.26.10 @ 8:27PM|#
            Yeah, and the embargo, regular military incursions, and the slaughtering of thousands of Gazans indicates how they “completely withdrew…”

            MNG, is someone else posting under your name, or are you unable to see the inconsistencies in your posts? First you say that Israel has a right to respond to attacks, then you go on a rant about Israel’s response to the thousands of rocket attacks that Gaza has launched at Israel.

  15. “Despot or Visionary?”

    When did these two become mutually contradictory? Many of the people who have been celebrated by the intellectual crowd as “visionaries” also happened to be despots with the capacity of enforcing their vision on others.

    But if this guy’s despotism is in the direction of ‘no elections and crack down on Hamas while I pursue economically-liberal policies,’ then I can say there are worse forms of despotism. Not that I’d like to live under it myself. If I were Palestinian, I’d vote for whoever the liberal (lowercase-l) party was – although the leaders of that party should consider themselves lucky if they could fit into a phone booth,rather than the grave to which their opponents will try to consign them.

  16. I love Palestinian Israeli pissing contests at H&R. They’re so productive and educational.

    I would like to see us branch out and get into a Hutu/Tutsi pissing contest once in a while.

    1. Your machete or mine?

      1. We Tutsis will never forgive, never forget. This is just the beginning of a millenia long struggle.

        1. proxy wars ain’t supposed to be productive.

    2. Didn’t we have an Ethiopia-Eritria scuffle a little while back?

      1. Now that was entertaining.

    3. Speaking of Rwanda, Israelis are helping Rwanda rebuild. They have experience building a nation right after the Holocaust and the Arab genocides against Arab Jews. Rwandans are drawing inspiration and practical tips from the Israeli experience.

      If Israel Could Do It, So Can Rwanda from the Jerusalem Post.

  17. J sub,
    I actually like the discussions of Israel/Palestine.
    I am an agnostic capitalist, so both sides, the leadership of both sides, and the socialist communitarian mindset of most of the people on both sides is abhorrent to me.

    But I have spent quite a bit of time there, and I really enjoyed it, and I sympathize with both sides.

    I think that MNG is actually quite mild in his criticism of some of the Israeli governments actions. Some of the stuff they do in the name of Judaism and some of the stuff that they say… if it were said in the name of say the Aryan race, or Christianity, it would be roundly rejected by most rational folk.

    I think that the major flaw of the Palestinians is that they agree with the socialism and group rights of a religion, or cultural heritage.

    If Palestinian leaders were to stand up for individual human rights, it would be hard to oppose them.
    How can you justify blocking off a road from a person because of their religion or cultural heritage in favor of another person of a different religion or cultural heritage?

    1. Kwais, I agree that the collectivism of the PA is a big barrier to peace. I wouldn’t mind civil court cases to compensate individuals and families that lost land, but very few people like that approach. The PA is more interested in milking the suffering of its people to get Western governments to fill their treasury. Fatah is well known for siphoning off aid money rather than letting the poor get it.

      Even the PA advocates that I talk to in the USA have the collectivist mindset. When they say, “The settlements are on stolen land.” I say, “You mean it was eminent domain abuse.” They respond, “I never thought of it like that.”

      Most of the PA advocates believe that land is stolen when it changes jurisdiction from one government to another government, but not when there is eminent domain abuse. That is why PA advocates have no problem with the PA enforcing the death penalty on PA citizens who sell land to Jews. They believe I should be prevented from buying land in Jericho, because they don’t like what Jews did a decade before I was born.

      1. “Kwais, I agree that the collectivism of the PA is a big barrier to peace.”

        And the collectivism of Israel that kwais mentioned and you ignored?

        “I wouldn’t mind civil court cases to compensate individuals and families that lost land”

        Pro-Palestinian rights orgs in Israel have been doing lots of this for decades, with mixed results.

        1. MNG, when you denounce your collectivism, we can go to the next step. You’re the one in the room, so I’m addressing you before moving on to people who are not here.

          1. I think the Israelis and Palestinians should be dealt with as individuals. You’re the one advocating collective punishment and such.

            1. MNG, if your ego blinds you to seeing your own opinion, then there isn’t much hope for debate with you.

  18. Rosen, thanks for presenting a fuller picture of Fayyad. I think the PA decision to make selling land to Jews a capital crime and the PA boycott of Israel are bad economic policy, but perhaps Fayyad will someday end those features of his government.

  19. I doubt if Israeli-style “democracy for the Arabs” would fly in any western liberal democracy.

    How well do you think an American state apportioning its legislature according to race and allowing people of a particular to only vote for the list of candidates of their own race race would stand up to the scrutiny of the SCOTUS.

    Not only is this what Israel does but the representation afforded by the Arab list is nowhere near proportional to the Jewish one.

    Just remember when you hear the term “Arab member of the Knesset” it is not just referring to the members ethnicity, it refers to his standing as an second class citizen in a country where he more than likely has family roots going back millenia compared to the “first class” citizens whose roots go back mere decades.

    I’m fairly sure the protests would be universal.

    Oh, and by the way, spare me any woo-woo about Jehovah promising the land to the Jews. I’m not interested in the oral traditions and fairy tales of either of these desert-god worshipping tribes.

    1. Kreel, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Any Israeli can vote for any party in the Israeli Parliament. The #1 guy on the Yisrael Betinu Party list is a Russian Israel while the #2 guy is a Druze.

      Oh and, woo-woo, If you think Nero and Josephus were fairy tales, then you are entirely ignorant of history.

      1. jtuf
        Does Israel not maintain its right to keep a Jewish majority in its nation? Does this not result in any action by them to make sure this occurs?

        1. MNG, so you’re offended by the prospect of Jews gathering in one place to the point of becoming a significant percent of the population? You’ve just declared that it’s unacceptable for Jews to make up 51% of the population of a country. Where do you draw the line? Jews are about 30% of the population in Rockland County, NY (the source for this stat is wikipedia, not a reliable source, but OK for this hypothetical question.). A politician in Teaneck, NJ recently complained about all the Jews moving into town and said, “We don’t want this to become like Rockland County.” Do you agree with that politician? Do you think it’s important to start protesting once the population of Jews in a region goes above a certain threshold? Exactly how many Jews are you willing to tolerate existing in your community.

      2. I don’t think that Kreel thinks that Nero and Josephus are fairy tales.
        I think that he thinks that the invisible guy in the sky that says what religion should be in charge of the land is a fairy tale.

        1. Kwais, who said that religion should be in charge of the land?

          1. What other argument is for the settlements?
            I mean it is the only argument i have heard from the settlers; “it is our land” (as in us jews)
            I mean there is plenty of land where you could build settlements that wouldn’t inconvenience Palestinians in the slightest. Plenty of it. Religion is the only reason I have heard of why the settlements have to be where they are.

            Perhaps you know of another?

            1. The settlements were built on land that was declaired abandoned. It’s just like the “blighted” designation that got USA Supreme Court approval in the mid-20th Century. You could argue that there is eminant domain abuse, but this puts Israel in the same league and the US and Europe. Historically, the settler movement belonged to the secular socialist segment of Israel. The Religious Zionist movement is a recent turn of events. In fact, the most religious segments of Israeli Jews refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of the Israeli government, because they believe that we must wait for G-d to establish a Jewish State.

              If religion is the only reason you have heard for justifying the settlements, then you are very ignorant to the situtation there.

  20. So, I kind of dated an IDF girl that lived on a settlement.
    The idea of a settlement seemed pretty cool to me, that you settle and unsettled land because of your religious beliefs or whatever. And you defend it in the face of opposition, of people who don’t thing you should settle there. The idea is pretty cool.

    The thing about it though, in practice is is a very asshole thing to do. I mean her house was nice, i really liked the land and the view.

    But to get to it you go on a road that the locals were once allowed to drive, but since the settlement are no longer allowed to drive.

    My friends settlement inconvenienced some, but not a great many. Other settlements inconvenience a great many and drive others out of work. One in the middle of Hebron, a settlement of 500 orthodox jews, that takes a garrison of 2000 soldiers to guard. That to ensure ease of movement for the settlers they cut off one of the main roads from arab transit.

    Jews can travel it, but moslems cannot. By what libertarian standard is that ok?

    The girl, my friend, is a very liberal socialist person, like MNG on his worse day. She was perplexed that I identified myself as a tea partier and that I vehemently oppose government healthcare.
    So I asked her, how she could justify the apartheid, and the taking of someone elses land. And she gave me the its our land (from before her parents migrated there from Europe). And this was kind of strange to me as she was more of an Atheist.

    So, I said, ok it is your belief that you have the right to settle the land, but what about them not having the right to vote? And she said “they can vote in Palestine, but not in Israel”. (there is no Palestine IMO, just Israeli lands where Israelis don’t want non Jews to be able to vote, all the Israeli settlers in those lands can vote in Israeli elections).

    I do understand some of the fear in Israeli citizenry, they have a western belief system, and they fear that if Arabic culture outvoted the modern western culture that is most of Israel, it will resemble the other Middle Eastern countries more than it resembles a European country.

    Compare Israel to Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, and Jordan, and if you are in the favored majority, it compares well.

    The fear I think is similar to that of Americans that if too many Mexicans immigrate here and vote here then we will more resemble Mexico.

    IDK im rambling now on a dead thread.

    1. Kwais, the situation in the Jewish towns in Judea and Sumeria is not ideal. In some ways, it greatly resembles the situation at the Islamic Center at Ground Zero. The Islamic Center at Ground Zero is on a road that New Yorkers used to be able to drive down. Now that road is blocked to traffic. Pedestrians used to be able to walk down that block and pause without explanation. Now, the police tell pedestrians that they are not allowed to pause on the block. There are another set of barriers right in front of the Islamic Center at Ground Zero, and only members of the Islamic Center at Ground Zero and their guests are allowed pass those barrier. There are at least 2 police guarding those barriers at all times.

      In both cases, the restrictions result from the threat of terrorist attacks against people who happen to believe in the new religion in town. Just as I would not call the Muslims in downtown Manhattan “occupiers”, I would not apply that term to Jews in Judea and Sumeria.

      1. jtuf,
        The analogy doesn’t quite hold.
        If the idea was that you can live where you want and Palestinians can’t stop you from living there, I would support that. If it would be ok for Palestinians to also move into largely Jewish towns and be protected by the police and Army too.
        And if Palestinians could also live in those settlements built in their midst. But it is not so.

        Watch a checkpoint for a while and see how the different people are treated based on their cultural background, and then morally justify that.

        1. Just to be clear, Jewish people should be allowed to settle wherever they want within their country which now by fiat includes Palestine).
          But equal rights should be given to all.

          1. Kwais, I agree that all people should be treated equally by the law. I’ve heard about the check points and the allegations of unequal treatment, but I’m reserving judgement until I know the situation better. Jerusalem Post wrote a great article on it that is worth reading. It said that Arabs do get searched more often, but the cause of the disparity might be body language rather than bigotry. That article described the new sensitivity training for airport guards in Israel to try to end the disparity.

            I’m flying to Tel Aviv in November. I decided a month ago to wear a shirt that says “The pen is mightier than the sword” in Arabic so that I could find out for myself what the situation is.

            1. Jtuf,
              the don’t get searched ‘more often’. They get searched “always”. Compared to “almost never” of their counterparts.

              How long are you going to be in Tel Aviv? I should be there early next year.

              I like the T-shirt thing idea of yours, pretty cool. Are you jewish? If you are and you want to get a better idea, when they ask you if you are Jewish say “no”.

              For some reason, idk why, but security is much more assholish when you leave the country than when you enter. I would have thought it would be the other way around, I mean it is like; “hey now I am leaving your country, why are you hassling me?”

              Anyways, despite my strong objections to some of the policies of the government, I really do like Israel. Both sides of the wire.
              It is such a beautiful country, with a really interesting history, even for an atheist.

              And there are some really genuine people there. You can actually have a really good time, specially in Tel Aviv, without even worrying about Arab/Israeli issues.

              1. I’m Jewish, kwais. I’ll wear the t-shirt, but I won’t lie to a direct question. I’ll only be in Israel for a few days. I wanted to take a day trip to see my boyfriend in Cairo, but that is impossible. If you thought getting from Jerusalem to Jerecho was difficult, you should look into the challenges of getting from Jerecho to Amman or from Tel Aviv to Cairo. It turns out that the lack of transportation options is a region wide problem, even though the media only reports on the challenges in Judea and Sumeria.

  21. Jtuf,
    I don’t think that there are any roads in the west bank that are off limits to jews or Israelis.
    I drove all around the west bank in an Israeli car with Israeli license plates. There is a sign that says “no Israeli citizens beyond this point”, but the first time I crossed that sign I was the cab driver that took me was an israeli citizen.
    I also went into the west bank with a Jewish human rights lady. No problem with her from the Palestinian side (they would have no way of knowing she cared about their human rights, they don’t stop you, all the checkpoints are Israeli). The only problem there was, was some derision that she got from the Israeli soldiers for going over to that side.
    There is quite a different story for Palestinians traveling past any Israeli checkpoint. I don’t know that Palestinians have any rights with the Israeli government, whether they are in Israel or Palestine. I’ll have to check on that.

    1. The ban on Jews going to certain areas is a new development. The Jerusalem Post has writen about it a few times this year.

  22. jtuf,

    On the Party list issue, I will accept your correction on the matter.

    However, I’ve never heard Nero and Josephus being used to promote the notion that Jehovah promised the “Holy Land” to the Jews so I’m not exactly sure how they’re germane to this discussion.

    1. Kreel, that’s because you’ve only read the stuff from the past 50 years. Modern Zionism started over a century ago. From 1865 to 1965, the secular socialists were the biggest part of the Zionist movement. They saw Zionism as a return to a historic homeland, not a fulfilment of religious prophecies. To them, the Bible was a historic document just like the works of Josephus and the stories about Nero. They would be just as comfortable citing any of those sources to justify returning to Israel.

  23. I believe that this article is altogether too biased against Salam Fayyad
    especially the last part about an annoyed bureaucrat. I also believe that it is a perfectly legitimate demand on the part of the PA to demand that only one party hold the weapons. The best example of that being the best option is the history of Israel and Lebanon. What kind of chaos would Israel be in today if Irgun and Lehi had been allowed to keep there weapons. Israel would resemble Lebanon. That being stated,it is in the interest of Palestine that one party rule end in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip and democracy be restored.All liberal dictatorships become corrupted. Think of Weimar Germany as an example

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.